RETALIATION

NYC law makes it easier for employees to win

09/05/2014

Not long ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it harder for em­­ployees to prove retaliation under Title VII anti-discrimination provisions. Under the New York City Human Rights Law, employees need only prove retaliation was an important motive in an adverse employment decision, not the only one.

Company settles OSHA retaliation case for $100,000

09/02/2014
McKees Rocks Industrial Enterprises has agreed to settle a retaliation case brought by a former employee who had complained of safety violations at the freight-handling company’s terminal near Pittsburgh. OSHA contends that the general laborer’s complaints led directly to an inspection by federal safety authorities—and that the man was immediately transferred and eventually fired as a result.

Beware sudden scrutiny after employee voices bias concerns

09/02/2014
Have an adequate but not outstanding employee? Be careful if he engages in some form of protected activity. Sud­denly deciding he’s not good enough may spark a retaliation lawsuit.

The case of the purloined letter: Real resignation or post-affair retaliation?

09/02/2014

Here’s a big reason to ban supervisor/subordinate relationships: When those affairs end, trouble for employers often begins. The subordinate, who may have been a willing participant, may now claim she was being sexually harassed. Or the supervisor may punish the subordinate for cutting off the relationship. Either way, there’s probably a lawsuit coming.

Internal report of wrongdoing not enough to trigger whistle-blower protection

09/02/2014
Texas public employees are protected from retaliation for reporting wrongdoing to an appropriate law enforcement agency. But except in very rare cases, it’s not enough to file an internal complaint that someone within the employee’s agency is breaking the law.

It may be scandalous, but reporting co-worker sexual shenanigans isn't protected activity

09/02/2014

Employees who report what they perceive as offensive sexual conduct to their employer may think they are engaged in so-called protected activity. That’s rarely the case. While the sexual activity they observe may indeed be offensive in the workplace, reporting it doesn’t mean the employee suddenly has protection from retaliation.

DOL sues to reinstate L.A. union whistle-blower

08/29/2014
A DOL lawsuit claims that Los Angeles-based Cement Masons South­­ern Cali­­for­­nia Administrative Cor­­p. illegally fired an em­­ployee for cooperating with a federal investigation. The corporation managed assets for five Cement Masons employee benefits trusts in southern California.

Beware retaliation after workers' comp claim

08/18/2014

Under Minnesota’s workers’ compensation laws, employees who file workers’ comp claims are protected from retaliation. The law says employers can’t punish employees for seeking benefits. But some employers have been trying to preempt so-called protected activity when an em­­ployee is injured at work.

Not every employee call to complaint hotline counts as 'protected activity'

08/11/2014
Federal law makes it unlawful to retaliate against employees who voice harassment or discrimination claims. Generally, employees who call hotlines are protected because the call itself is “protected activity.” But that’s not always the case.

Flexible schedules bill runs into inflexible congressional calendar

07/30/2014
Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced the Schedules that Work Act, which would give nonexempt employees the right to request flexible work schedules without fear of retaliation.

'No-call, no show' termination isn't adverse employment action

07/15/2014
Under Minnesota’s whistle-blower law, employers can’t punish employees for reporting wrongdoing to authorities. Even so, it’s still legitimate for employers to enforce existing workplace rules.

What can I do about employee who is accusing me of wrongdoing?

07/07/2014
Q. An employee of mine recently reported me after allegedly seeing me “physically harm” another of my employees. Can I discharge this employee for reporting me?

Don't discuss discipline with employees' co-workers

07/07/2014
Sometimes, keeping quiet is the best approach. That’s certainly true when you discipline or terminate employees for poor performance. Bad-mouthing an employee won’t do any good and may mean a needless lawsuit if the employee’s reputation suffers.

Not every hotline call is protected activity

07/07/2014

Many employers have a hotline that employees can call to report discrimination, harassment or other workplace problems. Generally, employees who call a hotline are protected against retaliation because the call itself is “protected activity.” But that’s not always the case.

Beware retaliation against whistle-blowers

06/24/2014
Employees who sue for alleged retaliation after reporting safety problems in the workplace have a new and powerful ally: the Cali­for­nia Labor Commissioner’s office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
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